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Vaccine. 1998 Dec;16(20):2047-51.

Immune response to measles vaccine in 6-month-old infants of measles seronegative mothers.

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Department of Pediatrics, Case Western Reserve School of Medicine, MetroHealth Medical Center, Cleveland, OH, USA.

Erratum in

  • Vaccine 1999 Apr 23;17(17):2206.


Determinants of measles vaccine-induced immune response in infancy include maternal immune status and the infant's age at immunization. In a previously published study, 74% of 19 6-month-old infants developed neutralizing antibody. Two of the infants were born to measles seronegative mothers. In order to (1) assess the prevalence of measles seronegativity in a population of US mothers born after 1960 and (2) assess the immunogenicity of standard titer measles vaccine in 6-month-old infants of measles seronegative mothers, mothers with healthy term (> or = 37 weeks gestation) infants attending well child care clinics at MetroHealth Medical Center were prospectively screened for measles antibody by EIA. If negative, maternal samples were retested for neutralization (NT) antibody. Fifteen of 169 women were seronegative by both assays. Six-month-old infants of 9 of these 15 seronegative mothers were enrolled in the pediatric vaccine study. Serological response of these 9 infants to monovalent measles vaccine (Attenuvax) was compared to the responses of 17 6-month-old infants of seropositive mothers and 15 15-month-old toddlers from our previous study. All 9 infants of seronegative mothers became EIA seropositive after the vaccine compared to 9 of 17 6-month-old infants born to seropositive mothers (p = 0.02). Differences in NT seroconversion rates (100% vs 70.6%) were not statistically significant. The comparison group of 15-month-old vaccinees showed 100% seroconversion by both assays. The NT geometric mean titer (GMT) was higher in the 15-month-old toddlers than in the 6-month-old infants born to seronegative mothers (87.2 vs 33.9, p < 0.01), suggesting age-related differences in humoral immune response unrelated to passively transferred maternal antibody.

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